Cape Plastic Bottle Ban


Our Goal

The Cape Plastic Bottle Ban is an educational and citizen advocacy initiative focused on raising awareness of the environmental and human impact of single-use plastic bottle consumption. In 2019, we initiated the Municipal Plastic Bottle Ban, which focused on eliminating non-emergency single-use plastic bottle purchase by town governments and sale of beverages in single-use plastic containers on town property across all towns in Barnstable County, Cape Cod. As of year-end 2019, the Municipal Plastic Bottle Ban was adopted by 11 of the 15 towns that comprise Barnstable County. In 2020, we will launch the Commercial Single-use Plastic Water Bottle Ban (Commercial Ban) across all 15 towns. The Commercial Ban will eliminate the sale of non-carbonated, non-flavored water in single-use plastic bottles within the jurisdictional area of a town.

Winter 2020: Commercial Single-use Plastic Water Bottle Ban

Commercial Single-use Plastic Water Bottle Ban


Single-use plastic bottles are made from non-renewable fuels, leach chemicals into consumables, and never biodegrade. Single-use plastic bottles impact environmental health, and the health and longevity of other species, who may ingest plastic as food. Ultimately, plastic re-enters the human food chain where the adverse consequences are both known and emerging. 

Like plastic production, recycling single-use plastic affects environmental and human health through emissions. Additionally, recycling single-use plastic is not a closed-loop process and does not reduce the need to create virgin plastic for use in the production of single-use plastic water bottles. Indeed, recycled plastic increases the presence of plastic in our environment through plastic downcycling, a production term that references the use of recycled plastic in other products from fabric to building materials. 

Over 1,500 single-use plastic water bottles are used and discarded in the U.S. per second. Elimination of the use of single-use plastic water bottles will have a significant impact on future plastic-based pollution including the nation’s greenhouse gas footprint and is consistent with protection of the natural environment in  Barnstable County, our nation and our earth, which we have a common responsibility to protect and steward.

The Commercial Single-use  Plastic Water Bottle Ban ( Commercial Ban) is a citizen action effort to reduce plastic consumption.  The Commercial Ban will eliminate the commercial sale of non-carbonated, unflavored water in single-use plastic water bottles. The Commercial Ban is anticipated to be filed for Town Meeting vote in  each of the 15 towns that comprise Barnstable County, Cape Cod.

Recent news coverage highlighting our Cape activities can be found on Our News page. 


The Commercial Single-use Plastic Bottle Ban has been endorsed by the Massachusetts Sierra Club.

Fall 2019: municipal plastic bottle ban

Municipal Plastic Bottle Ban

Plastic bottles are a by-product of the fossil fuel industry; they do not biodegrade and can last forever. Their production emits toxic waste into the air, and chemicals from plastic can leach into our beverages. After plastics are discarded, they pollute the air via incineration, contaminate groundwater through landfills, as well as harm to our oceans, beaches, roadways, and wildlife. Recycling is of little help and does not eliminate or reduce our dependence on plastic.  The hazardous effects of plastics are far more costly than indicated by price. They affect our immediate and long-term well-being. 

After successful passage of the Municipal Plastic Bottle Ban in five Cape towns this spring: Provincetown, Wellfleet, Harwich, Chatham, and Orleans, Sustainable Practices continued the campaign to reduce municipal plastic waste, adding  Brewster, Dennis, Eastham, Falmouth, Sandwich, and Yarmouth to the list of towns that have adopted the Municipal Plastic Bottle Ban as of November 18, 2019. The Municipal Plastic Bottle Ban addresses single-use plastic by eliminating purchase of single-use plastic bottled beverages by town governments and prohibiting the sale of beverages in  single-use plastic containers on town property. We are actively engaged with towns to promote alternatives to plastic and are primarily focused on behavioral change in favor of reusable containers.

Recent news coverage highlighting our Cape activities can be found on Our News page. 

Our perspective

We receive questions related to the bottle ban and in this section we provide our perspective on issues and topics of interest

Support Our Efforts

We are a volunteer led and staffed organization. All financial donations to Sustainable Practices are used in their entirety to support the organization's focus on raising awareness and promoting civic action to improve  human and environmental health. We are committed to fostering stewardship to enable sustainability. 

All donations are tax deductible. 

If you would like to donate your time, we invite you to contact us!

We appreciate your support of our commons.

Pay with PayPal or a debit/credit card